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Ducournau’s revenge drama beat out the other two titles on France’s shortlist: Audrey Diwan’s Venice Golden Lion winner Happening, a period abortion drama, and Cédric Jimenez’s The Stronghold, a crime thriller set in the streets of Marseille.
Titane is by far the most radical of the three. The feature, Ducournau’s follow-up to her well-received cannibal-coming-of-age story Raw, mixes extreme body horror and elements of female revenge films with macho muscle-car-obsessed movies. (A key plot point involves the lead character, played by newcomer Agathe Rousselle, getting impregnated by a Cadillac).
But the film has won over audiences. Titane has sold more than 300,000 tickets in its home country. Neon, which released Titane domestically this month, took in more than half a million dollars on its first weekend, the biggest opening for a Palme d’Or winner in over 17 years and the largest French opening in North America in more than 15 years. Neon will like its chances in the Oscar race. The last time it picked up a Palme d’Or-winning international genre film — Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite — it went on to win the Oscar for best picture.
The shortlist for the international feature category at the 2022 Oscars will be unveiled on Dec. 21. Nominations will be announced on Feb. 8 and the 94th Academy Awards will be held on March 27.
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